AACSB Announces Collective Vision for the Future of Business Education
The vision highlights five key opportunities for business schools to add value, create market differentiation, and better serve society globally
TAMPA, Florida, April 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — AACSB International (AACSB), the largest global business education network, announced today an industry-wide vision for the future of business education that identifies five forward-looking opportunities for business schools to serve as key drivers of change. Unveiled at ICAM 2016 on the occasion of AACSB’s Centennial Anniversary, the vision serves as a guiding framework for business schools, as they adapt to the significant shifts within the higher education landscape, and reimagine their purpose in society.
“Business education has changed dramatically in the past decade, and schools are facing increasing pressure to drive positive economic and social impact,” said Santiago Iniguez de Onzono, chair of AACSB’s Committee on Issues in Management Education, chair-elect of the AACSB Board, and dean of IE Business School. “Currently many business schools across the globe are already rising to the challenge. By identifying a clearer path forward, the collective vision helps to accelerate the transformation already underway, while becoming a key resource for business schools as they innovate and contribute to society in a more meaningful way.”
Captured in the newly-released report “A Collective Vision for Business Education,” the vision identifies five specific roles that business schools are well-positioned to fulfill, including:
- Catalysts for Innovation: Entrepreneurship and management innovation will drive new business creation and economic development in the future. With their multi-disciplinary approaches, networks, and the power to convene across sectors, business schools possess significant assets for taking a leading role in fostering innovation in society.
- Co-Creators of Knowledge: Today’s business, economic, and social landscapes face complex and multidisciplinary questions. New insights will emerge, with business schools firmly positioned at the intersection of industry and practice, as conveners and partners in knowledge creation.
- Hubs of Lifelong Learning: Business schools have the potential to contribute to learning opportunities for a wide variety of individuals, at different points in their career life cycles. By connecting expertise and experiences, business schools will broaden the possibilities for learning and knowledge exchange.
- Leaders on Leadership: Aspiring leaders of all kinds will benefit from better science behind leadership development. With experience in executive education, domain knowledge, and their industry connections, business schools can discover new insights into effective leadership, and create environments that train and nurture leaders.
- Enablers of Global Prosperity: Business is now expected to be an active participant in addressing broad societal goals and social challenges. Business schools must continue to lead in the development of insights about effective, ethical organizations, while encouraging students to use management skills for the greater good.
The announcement is the culmination of a multi-year process which involved the collective ideation of thousands of stakeholders across the business and management education communities, including AACSB’s membership of over 1,500 business schools in 91 countries and territories. Rather than describing a single direction or prescribing an ideal model, the vision acknowledges diversity across education institutions and encourages schools to adopt varying approaches in support of each school’s unique mission and value proposition.
“The introduction of the new vision at ICAM 2016 signals a renewed focus to enhance the role of business education in society, and empower business schools to move deeply, strategically, and successfully toward new possibilities,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB. “We look forward to schools embracing this new framework, evolving with, and learning from one another. This collective vision is not the end, it’s only the beginning step for business schools—and ultimately business—to serve as a force for good.”
AACSB, in collaboration with the broader business education industry, now shifts its attention to helping to accelerate progress. When acknowledged and embraced, the five opportunities will transcend the many cultural, political, economic, and financial contexts in which business schools serve. They will enable and allow the diversity of mindset needed to push the boundaries of the traditional definition of business schools—resulting in unique strategies that will set a new standard of business education.
For more information, visit www.AACSB.edu/vision.
About AACSB International
As the world’s largest business education network connecting academe with business, AACSB provides business education intelligence, quality assurance, and professional development services to more 1,500 member organizations across 91 countries and territories. Founded in 1916, AACSB Accreditation is the highest standard of quality in business education, with over 755 business schools accredited worldwide. AACSB’s global headquarters is located in Tampa, Florida, USA; its Asia Pacific headquarters is located in Singapore; and its Europe, Middle East, and Africa headquarters is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.aacsb.edu